The Geminid meteor shower is scheduled to peak late night December 13th to dawn December 14th for North American. This shower occurs every December and usually peaks around the 13th and the 14th but this year NASA is predicting a second possible meteor shower that will really light up the sky and could boost the number of meteors you will see. NASA is saying that there might be an additional 30 meteors per hour to the already 100 meteors per hour from the Geminids. That would truly be an awesome show to see!
You can actually watch for both meteor showers starting tonight with late into the 13th and early 14th being the the most optimal time to see the sky really light up. Set your alarm clock and the coffee maker for 2 a.m. to see the best show.
The Geminid Meteor Shower is caused by Earth running into a trail of space debris from a mysterious object called 3200 Phaeton. The shower is called the Geminid because the meteors seem to radiate from the constellation Gemini.
In past years, full moons can restrict viewing and wash out the fainter meteors. This year the new moon falls on December 13th so we are all in luck! A new moon means the nights will be dark and it doesn’t get any better than that to see this fantastic display of nature.
If you live in a major city it is best to get out of town. You may see some meteors if you live in a small town with very little artificial lighting, but an open sky with no city lights gives you optimal viewing pleasure. You might want to think about traveling to the country or desert if you can.
Your really don’t need any special equipment to watch this show other than a good lawn chair, warm blankets and some hot chocolate. And of course a good friend or two to keep you company and enjoy the beauty with you. You do need to give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness once you arrive at your destination or you might miss some of the fun. Make sure you allow at least an hour or so of viewing time because just like with any good movie or show there are periods with not much action. You just have to be patient for the good stuff. It will come.
I think this would be something wonderful to share with your children too. If you do get a chance to view this, make sure you stop back in and tell us all about it.